Kimama ni Tokyo Survive - 5
I’m currently hiding among some trees, covered in darkness and caked with sweat and mud. I try to breathe quietly in the stuffy air. Normally, if I were in this state, I’d get in the shower as soon as possible, but I don’t have that luxury currently. I’m facing off against a monster, and it’s got about half its strength remaining.
My axe, clasped tightly in my hand, feels reassuring. Mm, the Americans really are the best at making these kinds of tools. They’re the masters of death and destruction.
Anyway, to summarise, I’m standing in a public park, filthy from head to toe, holding an axe. Anyone – myself included – would think I’m an incredibly suspicious-looking person right now, but that’s not important. These little Gizmo monsters, buzzing around like bees, are far more important. They’re not entirely sure where I am in the forest, so they’ve evenly spaced themselves around the nest to protect it.
Oh, and how could I forget – there are a bunch of dim lights in the forest ahead of me, indicating a safe path to the nest. I follow the path with my eyes as it weaves through the trees, back and forth, before heading upwards and jumping from tree to tree through the branches. According to Guidance, this is the path I need to follow to get around the patrolling monsters…
But it’s ridiculous! The lights are up in the trees! Not the ground! I can’t do that!
No, no, I’ll just have to come up with something. Can’t get discouraged. A woman can’t survive in this society without courage. I’ve got to do this! Remember your courage! Remember how it felt, going out on a limb, talking directly to the company’s president, begging him for a job!
Rolling out from amidst the trees, I activate [Haste] and immediately hit top speed. I kick off the ground, more flying than running. Suddenly the image of the dead policeman, his head covered in those little bugs, flashes through my mind.
No, no, don’t focus on that. Forget about that. Squeeze out every drop of courage I’ve got left! I kick off from a tree, hard. It’s the first time I’ve used [Haste] to move vertically, and I can feel my excitement surging.
Ah, you know, I think I can understand how Tarzan felt, now, swinging through the trees. I’d never have imagined that one day, I’d be able to understand the feelings of an unemployed, naked, wild man.
With somewhat strange thoughts running through my head, I kick off a branch and keep flying through the trees. I’ve kept [Haste] activated this whole time, and I’m now travelling far, far faster than a human ever could. The wind blowing by my ears and the darkness of the night combined make me feel like I’m moving unbelievably fast. Somehow, miraculously, I make it to the nest, ending up directly above it.
I swing the axe straight down as hard as I can. I land a direct hit, but it’s not enough. I can hear the monsters behind me. All the hairs on my body stand on end, every one of them knowing exactly how dangerous those little things are. Unfortunately, my legs feel weak, having absorbed the impact of my landing, and there’s no way I can move just yet. There’s really only one thing I can do.
“Take that! And that! And that!”
I swing my axe like a brave – or perhaps stupid – madman, over and over again. I sense danger behind me and begin to dodge, moving my upper body side to side. The monsters, still flying at me, somehow miss me over and over again as I keep dodging, back and forth.
<<You have acquired a new title: “Wild Star.”>>
You know, that reminds me. Some dude once told me that I’m a lot like a dog. I bit him. After that, people started calling me a “mad dog.” Thinking back fondly on that incident, I twist my hips and swing my axe as hard as I can.
It passes straight through the nest, splitting it in half. Black smoke billows into the air. The bottom half of the nest falls victim to gravity and hits the ground. A moment passes, then cracks begin to form on the nest as the monster dies. It releases powerful gusts of wind through the air, forcing me to guard my face with my arms as tiny fragments of the nest and monster corpses fly wildly through the air. A few seconds later, the wind comes to a stop. My ragged breathing and heartbeat are the only things I can hear in the forest.
Oh, wait, never mind.
<<Because of your title, “Challenger,” you will receive bonuses to your earned points and experience for defeating a higher-rank opponent.>>
<<You have levelled up to level 2!>>
<<You have levelled up to level 3!>>
<<You have unlocked the class “Warrior.”>>
<<[Axe Skill LV 1] and [Rush LV 1] have been acquired automatically.>>
<<[Haste] has levelled up to [Haste LV 4].>>
Still breathing hard, I wipe the sweat off my face with my sleeves. Bonuses… That sounds good. Haven’t had one of those in a while, thanks to the recession.
…No, I doubt Guidance was referring to my salary. I stand up, smacking the dirt off my hips, as the nest collapses into wreckage. The remains are rough and jagged, like half-melted iron, and it’s much harder than I imagined.
Anyway, now I have a problem. That Gizmo thing was definitely a monster. In other words, Guidance was telling the truth. I can assume that there are gonna be more monsters from here on out. This one alone was strong enough to nearly kill me – and it did actually kill two people, right over there. Could an average person beat something like this? There are gonna be lots of casualties. Just thinking about it makes a chill run down my back.
It’ll take quite a while for someone to investigate this area, determine exactly what happened, and put together a team to exterminate these monsters. And by then, there will almost certainly be even more monsters, of different kinds. If I had a gun, sure, I’d be able to defend myself just fine, but carrying and using a gun in a major city seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
I don’t even have time to celebrate my win. Guidance said the first monsters would be relatively low-level, but that Gizmo was anything but weak. I hate losing, you know. The fact that I never run away from a challenger is one of the only good things about me. And even if I do back off, it’s only temporary, until I have a strategy to win. And so, even though I know it’s impossible, I can’t just back down. I have to think of a strategy to win against the monsters.
I’m a pretty disgusting person, right?
I look down at the monster’s corpse, trying to come up with a strategy. I honestly feel bad for this thing’s mother. I check my axe and notice that the blade has a chip – probably because of how roughly I was using it. It’s not gonna last too many more battles, at this rate.
I think I ought to consider this the start of a long-term war with the monsters. In order to keep fighting, I’m going to need to secure food and water, obviously, but I’m going to need a lot more than that to fight a war. If I keep consuming my combat resources – like this axe – sooner or later I’m gonna run out of steam and die.
Hey, Guide, do dead monsters have any kind of use? Their corpses might be a good source of resources to keep me fighting.
<<You can collect various materials, as well as magic stones from them. Both of those can be processed into weapons, armour, and other items. Magic stones are dropped fairly rarely, and each type of monster can only drop a magic stone with its particular characteristics. This time, with your Challenger bonus increasing the drop probability, a magic stone was dropped.>>
I poke through the nest and find a shiny black jewel, about the size of an egg and covered in cuts.
“Hmm… This looks like it could be worth something. Hey, you mentioned materials, too, right? Am I just supposed to take the corpses home with me? Are they the materials?
<<The corpse needs to be processed before it can be useful as materials. You can take it home as it is; however, once processed, various impurities will be removed, reducing it to about 1% of its current size.>>
Oh, well, that’s good. There’s no way I can get on a train carrying all of this, after all. Right, then lemme get that processing skill. Can I do that right now?
<<Yes. Would you like to acquire [Collect LV 1]?>>
Of course I would.
In all honesty, I’d love to spend all my points on combat-related skills, but that’s probably not the best idea. I got 15 points from levelling up twice, so after buying [Collect] for 5 points, I’ve got 10 left. I reach my hand out into the night, and the monsters’ remains begin to glow. They turn into light and float through the air, gathering in my hands. I close my hands, and the light inside transforms into something cube-shaped, rolling around in my closed fist.
It’s times like this that really feel so disconnected from reality. This is almost fantasy-like.
Anyway, now that I’ve got everything collected, it’s time to head home. I finally turn my back on the quiet park. On my way home, I stop at the station and use the payphone to contact the police. I don’t want anything tying me to this incident, so I change my voice a little and say, “Um, so like, the park is, like, really loud right now, or something? It’s like really annoying,” before hanging up and going home.
◆ Shizuka Gotou
・Level: 1 -> 3
・HP: 15 -> 24
・MP: 2 -> 5
・Offense: 12 (3) -> 16 (7)
・AC: 3 (2) -> 4 (3)
・MC: 0 -> 0
※Parentheses indicate base value, excluding weapons and armour
※AC: Resistance to physical attacks, aka. Armour Class
※MC: Resistance to magical attacks, aka. Magic Class
[Regeneration LV 2]:
Only works if the caster makes direct hand contact with the wound.
Half as effective when used on others.
Can only heal the target up to their HP stat.
Cooldown: 12 hours.
[Haste LV 4]:
Can exceed typical movement speed for 50 steps.
Levelling up increases the number of steps, as well as the speed of movement.
[Collect LV 1]
Enables the user to collect materials from defeated monsters.
Levelling up allows collection of materials from higher-ranking monsters.
[Night Vision LV 1]
[Fear Resistance LV 3]
[Stress Resistance LV 2]
Winning against a higher-ranked opponent increases the number of points, experience, and drops acquired.
Capable of displaying their true ability at critical moments.